El Cajon Police Shoot Unarmed Black Man, Say Witnesses: Sister Called Police For Help, But Brother Shot Instead

It is a headline U.S. citizens are becoming used to seeing. Just three days after video of the officer-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott on Sept. 20 was released by Charlotte, North Carolina, officials, another officer-involved shooting occurred in El Cajon. NBC7 described the scene at today’s shooting in El Cajon: A man’s sister “wailed” as she watched El Cajon Police administer first aid to her brother — the same brother for which she had called police to help in the first place. Crowds gathered at the scene after the shooting, chanting and demanding that police answer their questions.

According to El Cajon Police, the shooting occurred at approximately 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Broadway Village Shopping Center. The mall is located northwest of State Route 67 and Interstate 8 on South Mollison Avenue. It was almost 4 p.m. before NBC7 spoke with police, who told them the man shot had been behaving erratically and failed to heed officers’ orders.

Spokesman Rob Ransweiler of the El Cajon Police said they were called on Tuesday afternoon to investigate a report that a person was acting in an erratic manner. Responding officers said the subject did not comply with their requests. Ransweiler was asked if the man who had been shot had been carrying a weapon.

“I have the information, I’m just not…It’s an ongoing investigation, so I’m not releasing details of the investigation.”

Ransweiler replied much the same when questioned on scene about whether other calls had been placed to police about the subject, specifically calls that might have alerted them to whether the man was mentally unstable.

“I do know the answer to your question, but because it’s an ongoing investigation, I’m gonna decline to answer that question.”

After the shooting, El Cajon police tweeted that an “erratic subject” had been shot by police. The man was transported to the hospital, and his condition at this time is unknown.

The parking lot near the shooting was cordoned off by officers investigating the scene. NBC7 reports one witness’ account of police confiscating cell phones after the shooting. Maria, who works at the El Cajon Los Panchos, was working when the shooting occurred. She both heard and saw the incident, after which officers entered the restaurant and took all employee cell phones, as well as instructed them to not talk about the shooting to anyone. According to Maria, one of the phones confiscated contained video of the incident. Police say the phone was given to them voluntarily.

Another witness working nearby reported hearing screams and shots fired from the scene. He said he saw two officers and one subject in the parking lot before hearing three or four shots. ABC10 spoke with a witness who said the man who was shot had been having a seizure, while multiple witnesses say the man had been unarmed, although he was holding an electronic vaping device.

A salon employee described the scene.

“I heard three gunshots – there was a black man on the ground and two officers standing around him.”

Although the El Cajon City Council approved purchasing over 85 body cameras in May, Police Chief Jeff Davis said the hope was that the cameras would be placed into use by the beginning of next year.

A Facebook Live video posted by Rumbie Mubaiwa shows the victim’s sister crying and questioning police.

“I called you to help me but you killed my brother. Why couldn’t you guys tase him? Why why why why?”

Police are shown asking the woman for her brother’s age and name, while she says,” I called so many times to help him.”

Coupled with the Scott shooting in Charlotte and the killing of Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma six days later (for which Officer Betty Shelby has been charged with manslaughter, according to Inquisitr), reports of another officer-involved shooting are no longer met with surprise.

Protests by African Americans demanding answers from police in a wake of officer-involved shootings have surged as reports of the shootings circulate. ABC10 is reporting that a crowd of angry protesters have gathered at the scene of the shooting.

[Featured Image by Zoran Karapancev/Shutterstock]